BRATHWAITE MEMOIRS RECOUNT MANY JOBS ACCOMPLISHED.
Byline: Amy Raisin Staff Writer
SANTA CLARITA Santa Clarita, city (1990 pop. 110,642), Los Angeles co., S Calif., suburb 30 mi (48 km) NW of downtown Los Angeles, on the Santa Clara River; inc. 1987. Situated in the Santa Clara valley and nearby canyons, Santa Clarita includes the former towns of Canyon Country, - Louis Brathwaite - assigned classified duties in the U.S. Air Force, a leader in the Santa Clarita Valley The Santa Clarita Valley is the valley of the Santa Clara River in Southern California. It stretches through Los Angeles County and Ventura County. Its main population center is the city of Santa Clarita. The valley was part of the 48,612-acre (19,672. , and a whiz with woodwork and mechanics - made it a point to finish the projects he started.
One week before the 68-year-old died of a heart attack in November, the father of three, who grew up in a hard-scrabble New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of neighborhood and had to fight for his place in the world, finished his memoirs, titled ``Black Mans Job, White Mans Job.''
The book, published locally this year, earned its title after a 1963 conversation Brathwaite, recently promoted to supervisor, had with one of the men who worked for him at Edwards Air Force Base Edwards Air Force Base, U.S. military installation, 301,000 acres (121,805 hectares), S Calif., NE of Lancaster; est. 1933. It is one of the largest air force bases in the United States and has the world's longest runway. .
``A white man should have this job,'' the employee said of Brathwaite's position.
In his memoirs he recalled that he did not punch the man, but reasoned with him. ``Is this a black man's job or a white man's job?'' Brathwaite asked. ``It must be a black man's job ... because I'm a black man and I have the job.''
Brathwaite encountered racial injustice from childhood - one teacher accused the 10-year-old of cheating after scoring highly on an IQ test - but never let it run him down, said Mary, his wife of 33 years.
``Let's face it, he did stand out in a crowd,'' she said of her handsome, 6-foot-2-inch husband. ``This was a very smart man who did not want others to dictate how he behaved.''
His behavior, guided by a sense of commitment, honesty and frankness, earned him many respected positions in the Santa Clarita Valley: planning commissioner from 1988 to 1998, and a longtime board member of the William S. Hart Union High School District, the Boys & Girls Club Girls Club is a 2002 American television series created by David E. Kelley, who was also it's producer and executive producer. Only two out of a total of thirteen episodes created were broadcast on Fox Television in the United States and Global Television in Canada. and the Committee on Aging.
But the artist, craftsman and tenor singer - he impressed the Italians in his youth with his operatic voice - always made time for his family.
Mary describes their brood as a ``his, hers, ours,'' - each brought a daughter into the marriage, then they had a son together in 1972. Today, she chuckles at predictions that their union - African-American man, white woman - wouldn't last.
After decades of life with him, Mary still does not know the specifics of what Brathwaite did on his frequent trips for the Air Force.
``During all the years that we were married he never told me where he was or what he was doing,'' said Mary, 62, who lives in the couple's Saugus home with two cats she acquired after her husband's death. ``We had a special programmed phone; we could call his office, but we never knew the number.''
Remaining true to the confidentiality the government required, Brathwaite's book is sometimes vague regarding his classified years. But the vivid recollections of family, struggling for equality and his commitment to the Santa Clarita Valley make up for the sparse Air Force details.
Born to parents of Ethiopian, West Indian West In·dies
An archipelago between southeast North America and northern South America, separating the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean and including the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles, and the Bahama Islands. , American Indian American Indian
or Native American or Amerindian or indigenous American
Any member of the various aboriginal peoples of the Western Hemisphere, with the exception of the Eskimos (Inuit) and the Aleuts. and Caucasian descent, Brathwaite grew up in a mixed-race area of New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City
City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S. known as Lower Washington Heights - where the gifted child gifted child
Child naturally endowed with a high degree of general mental ability or extraordinary ability in a specific domain. Although the designation of giftedness is largely a matter of administrative convenience, the best indications of giftedness are often those played handball handball
Any of a variety games in which a small rubber ball is struck against a wall with the hand or fist. It can be played in a three- or four-walled court or against a single wall by two or four players (in singles or doubles games, respectively). with future tennis great Althea Gibson Noun 1. Althea Gibson - United States tennis player who was the first Black woman player to win all the major world singles titles (1927-2003)
Gibson and stickball with future baseball Hall-of-Famer Willie Mays Noun 1. Willie Mays - United States baseball player (born in 1931)
Mays, Say Hey Kid, Willie Howard Mays Jr. .
In 1952, not long after his mother had buried her oldest son and husband within 30 days of one another, Brathwaite joined the Air Force, where he began a successful career as an aircraft hydraulics specialist.
The year before he joined the Air Force, Brathwaite, a member of the Naval Reserve Squadron, Fleet Air Service Squadron, encountered his first slice of military racism - from two African-American men.
Spotting him in his dress whites, the two men demanded to know who he was, where he was from, what he did. Brathwaite explained he was a hydraulics specialist.
``You lie! No Negro seamen live over there,'' the men countered. ``No Negro seamen are aircraft specialists, and you're out of uniform in those green stripes.''
Friend Carl Boyer, a former Santa Clarita mayor and councilman, edited and published the book for the man he met 30 years before. He admits that the project revealed many aspects about Brathwaite's life that the part-time publisher never knew.
But the frustrating, touching and personal revelations only reinforced Boyer's respect for his friend.
``I'm not sure (the book) had a whole lot of impact on my opinion of him because I think that had already been developed,'' Boyer said. ``He had to be twice as good at everything to get recognized because he was black.
``But if you asked him to get involved, he would. He would set a good example by getting done what he said he would do,'' he said. ``People saw that and recognized his leadership.''
Boyer added that the title, ``Black Mans Job, White Mans Job,'' was a source of debate between the two - as a publisher, Boyer insisted on placing an apostrophe apostrophe, figure of speech
apostrophe, figure of speech in which an absent person, a personified inanimate being, or an abstraction is addressed as though present. in the word ``Mans,'' but Brathwaite was adamant to leave it out.
``He felt it represented street talk without the apostrophe,'' Boyer said. ``He insisted that it be that way.''
To purchase a copy of the book, which costs $16.95, contact a local book store or call Boyer at (661) 259-3154.
(color) Louis Elcania Brathwaite